Top Recommended MCO Layover Activities:
1. Universal Studios CityWalk
1000 Universal Studios Plaza, Orlando, FL 32819-7628 · 407-363-8000
The numerous eateries, nightclubs, theaters, live entertainment and shopping venues located in this 30-acre complex will reel you in and keep you for the entire afternoon and night. Casual and fine dining establishments such as the Nascar Cafe and Emeril's (named after renowned chef Emeril Lagasse) are found throughout the area, offering a wide variety of choices to suit all different preferences. Live entertainment includes celebrity appearances, cooking demonstrations and amusing street performances - sure to keep you laughing for hours on end. As nighttime approaches you will get to choose to dance the night away in one of the many happening nightclubs or to reflect upon the day's experiences in one of the laid back bars.
2. US Astronaut Hall of Fame
6225 Vectorspace Blvd, Titusville, FL 32780 · 321-269-6100
In honor of the men and women who have contributed so much to the space knowledge that we have today, this captivating museum provides great insight into the responsibilities of the astronaut. Among the Hall of Fame inductees are the 7 Mercury, 13 Gemini and 22 Apollo and Skylab astronauts. Additional attractions found here include the original space capsules of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo as well as a variety of space simulators. From landing a space shuttle to navigating across the surface of Mars, these simulators allow children and adults alike to experience a hint of what the astronaut's job encapsulates.
3. Winter Park's Scenic Boat Tour
312 E Morse Blvd, on Lake Osceola, Winter Park, FL 32789 · 407-644-4056
Just a few minutes outside of downtown Orlando, this popular tour invites you to kick back and unwind from the hustle and bustle of your nonstop vacation. Let the tour guide do the talking as you take in the peaceful natural and manmade surroundings of Lake Osceola. The entire area is rich with wildlife and flora in addition to a variety of impressive Winter Park residential mansions. This forty-five minute experience will leave you in a tranquil state of mind - perfect for tackling the next Florida attraction, shopping complex or dining establishment.
4. Lake Eola Park
195 N Rosalind Avenue, Central Blvd and Rosalind Ave, Orlando, FL 32801 · 407-246-2827
Spread over approximately 20 acres, this downtown park offers visitors to Orlando a pleasant place to enjoy some "green." The park features a jogging path, a playground, a cafe and paddleboats.
5. Florida Aquarium
701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602 · 813-273-4000
Set along the waterfront, this amazing attraction (housed in a structure modeled after a giant scallop shell) explores Florida's native sea life in a number of venues. More than 4,300 plants and animals are represented, highlighting both fresh and saltwater environments. Exhibits document the movement of water from wetlands to ocean and include a million-gallon coral reef display that houses fish of all kinds. Twice each day, divers feed sharks living in the aquarium, and other exhibits showcase sea life from around the world. A gift shop and restaurant are on the premises, and the IMAX theater next door presents a film documenting ocean life.
6. Loch Haven Park
N Mills Ave at Rollins St, Orlando, FL 32803 · 407-896-4231
Loch Haven has become known as both a natural and cultural retreat. Forty-five acres of land, surrounded by three lakes and punctuated with stately trees and flowering plants, host many cultural events throughout the year. Visitors can enjoy one of the park's museums, including the Orlando Museum of Art, the Mennello Museum of American Folk Art or the Orlando Science Center. Guests can also enjoy performances by visiting theater troupes and guest lecturers. Before departing the park, stop by "The Mayor," one of Florida's oldest Oak trees.
7. West Orange Trail
501 Crown Point Cross Rd, Orlando, FL 34787 · 407-654-1108
Looking for a place to walk, jog or skate while on the road visiting Orlando? Then head for the Orange Trail. This trail features 19 miles of paved pathways that link Winter Garden (near the Lake County line) to Apopka.
Top Weekend Getaways And Day Trip Excursions:
1. MAGIC KINGDOM ® PARK
1000 Buena Vista Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-1000 · 407-824-4321
Contrary to popular belief, the MAGIC KINGDOM ® PARK and WALT DISNEY WORLD ® are not one and the same. The MAGIC KINGDOM ® PARK is, however, one of WALT DISNEY WORLD'S ® foremost highlights. It consists of seven different lands, including Main Street USA, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square and Toontown Fair; each of these exciting realms brings a different figment of the imagination to life. In this fantasyland, children are able to safari in an African jungle, interact with Pluto and Donald Duck and embark on adventures in a world that existed hundreds of years ago.
2. DISNEY - HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
WALT DISNEY WORLD ® Resorts, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 · 407-824-4321
Discover what it's really like to be on the set of a television show or a motion picture. DISNEY - MGM STUDIOS provides a back stage look at TV and movie productions as well as radio broadcasts and the making of animated programs. One of the best parts about this theme park is that it isn't all just for show, as the facilities are entirely functional. Children enjoy strolling down legendary streets like Sunset Boulevard or Dalmatian Avenue as they make their way to the next fascinating attraction. Two of the most popular rides include The Tower of Terror (a 13-story free fall) and Rock n' Roller Coaster (complete with music from Aerosmith). Dining establishments and gift shops abound.
3. DISNEY'S ANIMAL KINGDOM ® THEME PARK
WALT DISNEY WORLD ® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 · 407-824-4321
The latest development of the Disney Theme Park attractions, the DISNEY'S ANIMAL KINGDOM ® THEME PARK was thought of after the successful Lion King movie. In the park you will find the Tree of Life. This spectacular tree includes sculptures of various animals and stands 14 stories high. Amazing! There are several interactive sections as well as a show about being a bug in which you don bug eyes. A fun show!
4. EPCOT ®
Disney World Resort, Orlando, FL 32830 · 407-824-4321
Experience life as it is lived in eleven different nations around the world, and as it may exist years into the future. Walt Disney's EPCOT ® (meaning an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) is a two-part project with no end in sight. Future World is a constantly evolving component that displays a continual focus on technological advancements that the times ahead may hold. World Showcase allows visitors to experience the customs and cultures of eleven different nations in a single afternoon. Additional attractions found here include a jaw-dropping laser show and numerous other interesting shows. At EPCOT ® the key elements are education and wholesome entertainment - what more could a parent ask for?
5. SeaWorld Orlando
7007 SeaWorld Drive, Orlando, FL 32821 · 800-327-2424
SeaWorld Orland’s activities include rides, shows, and animal attractions. Experience Kraken a 15-story high roller coaster that will whip and turn you upside down at 65 mph. Slow down and enjoy a performance of Cirque de la Mer – the Circus of the Sea. Do not forget about the animals! Make sure you leave some room in your day for an hour long behind the scenes tour. Choose from tours to see the predators, polar expedition, or rescue tour. You will see and learn about the inner working of SeaWorld’s efforts to care for and rehabilitate animals.
6. Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure
1000 Universal Studios Plaza, Orlando, FL 32819 · 407-363-8000
This massive Orlando theme park is a never-ending hodgepodge of fun rides, entertaining exhibits and five exciting sections. Indeed, the non-studio park's islands each feature a different theme: Seuss landing, the Lost Continent, Jurassic Park, Toon Lagoon and Marvel Comic Superhero Island. This is a great place to bring the entire family for a day of fun an adventure. Afterwards, you can head over to CityWalk for an upscale (Emeril's) or casual (Margaritaville) meal before calling it a day.
7. Universal Studios Florida
1000 Universal Studio Plz, Orlando, FL 32819-7610 · 407-363-8000
This park has recreated a variety of movie sets and rides from comedy to horror, all of which have been tailored to give the guest the feeling of being in specific events from movies. "Twister," "Jaws," "Back to the Future" and "Terminator 2" are a few of the ultra-fun exhibits worth trying. There is something for everyone here.
8. Kennedy Space Center
State Rd 405, SE of Titusville on SR 405, Melbourne, FL 32899 · 321-452-2121
The definitive place to visit for an exciting education in America's legendary space program, the Kennedy Space Center offers a glimpse into the working environment of a real space exploration facility. Tours and exhibits of historical space events and state of the art 3D IMAX theaters bring you face to face with missions of the past, present and future. The Visitor's Center, Apollo/Saturn V moon mission items, Launch Complex 39, the International Space Station Center and great views of launch areas combine to make Kennedy Space Center worth adding to your must-see list.
9. Cypress Gardens
2641 S Lake Summit Dr, FLA 540 at Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven, FL 33884 · 863-324-2111
Holding the title for being Florida's first theme park, Cypress Gardens is quite impressive. Set among lush gardens that feature over 8,000 different plants and flowers, Cypress Gardens presents a hodgepodge of entertainment from exotic water-skiing to dancing and singing. The Botanic Gardens can be visited by land or water as boats traverse the canals laden with blooming flowers and plant life. Guests can also visit Southern Crossroads where live performances and shows are performed. Other attractions include Wings of Wonder (a butterfly sanctuary), Birdwalk Aviary (a habitat for exotic birds), and the charming Florida Historic Railway Garden (a natural setting featuring mini recreations of some of Florida's notable buildings). Located near Orlando, just outside the city of Winter Haven.
10. Lake Kissimmee State Park
14248 Camp Mack Rd, Lake Wales, FL 33898 · 863-696-1112
This park boasts the third largest lake in the state of Florida - Lake Kissimmee, the park's namesake. Guests can enjoy an array of activities, including fishing, boating, hiking, picnicking, camping and bird watching. This park also features the Lake Kissimmee Cow Camp, a living history reenactment of how cattle folk lived and worked in the late 1800s. Cow camps are held on weekends and major holidays from 9:30am-4:30pm.